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Zoosk Reveals the Cities with the Most Open-Minded Daters

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Do you consider yourself an open-minded dater? If you live in L.A. or New York your potential dates are not as open-minded as you might assume. In fact, Las Vegas is the number one city for daters who are more receptive to others who don't share the same beliefs - not the coastal cities.

Dating website Zoosk looked at a sample of about a million of its members to see what regions in the U.S. had the most open-minded daters. The site looked at members’ willingness to date someone with different viewpoints on important topics such as children, religion, previous marriages, and education – and unveiled that coastal and generally forward-thinking cities aren’t as open-minded when it comes to who they will date.

Cities in the heartland - Las Vegas Nevada, Detroit Michigan and Columbus Ohio - made the top three on the list of cities with the most open-minded daters. Rounding out the bottom, where you’ll find the least open-minded daters, was Raleigh North Carolina, San Jose California, and Birmingham Alabama.

In addition to overall open-mindedness, the study looked at the breakdown of different topics that are important subjects for daters, such as religion. They found that singles in San Jose, California are the most open-minded about dating someone outside of their religion, while singles in Birmingham, Alabama are the least open-minded.

Educational disparity can be a deal-breaker for some daters. Salt Lake City, Utah has the highest concentration of singles willing to date someone with a different level of education, while singles in San Jose, California predominantly look for a partner with the same level of education.

And what about those who have been married before? Would you be willing to date someone who’s divorced? As it turns out, singles in Salt Lake City, Utah are most open to dating someone who was previously married, while singles in Hartford, Connecticut are least likely to consider the option.

Body type can be a concern for daters, too. San Antonio, Texas has the highest concentration of singles willing to date someone with a different body type than their own, while singles in Louisville, Kentucky largely look for a partner with a similar physique.

And what about smoking and drinking habits? Singles who reside in Nashville, Tennessee are most open to dating someone who has different smoking habits, while singles in Miami, Florida are least likely to do so. Providence, Rhode Island singles are most open to dating someone whose drinking habits differ from their own, unlike singles in San Jose, California who are not.

More than half of Americans have Never been on a Blind Date

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Have you ever been on a first date with someone you didn’t know – who you’d never seen before? Even in an online dating photo?

If you said no, you’re in good company. According to a recent survey by Dating Advice, over half of Americans – 57% - have never been on a blind date. As it turns out, there is no real gender difference among respondents either – 58% of women have never been on a blind date compared to 56% of men.

Interestingly, singles who have never been married were also among the most likely to have never been on a blind date – about 70% total. Compared to their married counterparts at 50% and divorced respondents at 48%, they don’t appear to be so open to the idea.

Also, 80% of young people ages 18-24 have never been on a blind date compared to senior respondents. Among those 64 and older, only 42% had never been on a blind date.

There is a bit of a gap when it comes to sexual preference. Fifty-six percent of straight people surveyed have never been on a blind date compared to only 49% of gay respondents. And Latinos were the least likely ethnic group to have been on a blind date, with 70% admitting they hadn’t.

What does all this mean? Are blind dates considered a thing of the past, or is there a reason singles aren’t really interested in them anymore?

Blind dates might seem like an old-fashioned idea with all the dating apps and websites that people have to choose from. But they also require us to be on our best behavior – after all, word could get back to your friend or family member who set you up if you’re disrespectful or you neglect to call. It adds a level of safety and accountability to a date that online and mobile dating don’t provide.

Then again, if you’re not attracted to your blind date, it might be a little harder to explain to your friends or Aunt Mary just why you don’t want a second date.

So should we be more open to the idea of a blind date? In the same way that we have adapted to a dating culture that uses mobile apps and websites to find love, this is yet another avenue. And while it might take more time to set up and promises little return unless you hit it off, it’s worth a try.

When it comes to dating, if you’re not exploring your options, you might be wasting some good opportunities.

Almost a Third of Americans would End a Relationship if the Sex wasn’t Satisfying

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How important is sex in your relationship? Is it a deal-breaker if you and your partner don’t see eye-to-eye in the bedroom? According to a recent poll, nearly a third of Americans say if they didn’t have a good sex life with their partner, it would cause them to break off the relationship.

The study was conducted by website DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing the data to accurately represent the U.S. population.

Men are definitely more invested in a good sex life than women, with 33% saying they would end a relationship over unsatisfactory sex, compared to only 22% of women.

In addition to gender, the study broke down the data according to marital status, sexual preference, race, age, income, and geographic location.

Divorced people were more likely to respond in the affirmative than those who were still married. More than one in three divorcees said they would leave relationships that provided unsatisfying sex whereas only one in five married respondents did.

Gay men and lesbian women were 50 percent more likely to leave a sexually unsatisfying relationship than straight men and women – higher than any other group. Thirty-eight percent of African-American men and women would discontinue a relationship if they weren’t happy in the bedroom, which is three times the rate of Asian-American men and women.

In terms of age, older people were more likely to choose to stay in the relationship (24% ages 65 and older) compared to their younger counterparts. Interestingly, those ages 35-44 were the most likely to leave the relationship at 32%, compared to those aged 18-24 at 29% and 25-34 at 27%.

Geographic location doesn’t seem to play a role in how people feel, with the Northeast, Midwest, West and South about equally comfortable with the idea of breaking up with a partner over unsatisfying sex. Income however, does seem to influence the decision, with those earning $125,000 or more (about 21%) finding it more difficult to break up over an unsatisfying sex life compared with those earning less (averaging about 30%).

Gina Stewart, a Dating Advice expert, said sex is a crucially important component of a relationship to many Americans. “While some think satisfying sex between two lovers can be developed, others believe sexual chemistry either exists or it doesn’t,” she said. “This study mirrors those attitudes, with a significant portion of people either unwilling to work at an unsatisfying sex life or believing such a relationship is doomed.”

Online Dating Doesn’t Just Save You Time – It Saves You Money

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A lot of people love online dating because of its convenience. It's hard to beat being able to scan through potential matches from the comfort of your own home, entirely at your leisure. Traditional dating can be found, but it can also be a huge time suck. Sometimes all you want is an efficient way to weed out the frogs from the princes (and princesses).

Online daters already know that dating websites are a great way to save time, but it turns out they're also a great way to save money. Couples who meet online tend to marry after a shorter period of time than couples who meet in real life, meaning that a courtship that begins via the Internet ends up being thousands of dollars cheaper than meeting and wooing someone offline.

According to market strategists at New York City-based ConvergEx Group, the average dating period prior to marriage for a couple who met in real life is approximately 42 months. Let's do some math: if that couple goes on one date per week, and that date costs around $130 (for food, drinks, entertainment tickets, etc.), then the total cost of that couple's courtship would be around $23,660.

The average time between meeting and marriage for couples who meet online, on the other hand, runs around 18.5 months. The average dating site customer spends $239 a year for online memberships, according to ConvergEx Group, and if we assume that the amount spent on dates is the same, an online dater saves $12,803 in comparison to an offline dater.

And what if the dates go Dutch? In that case, each online dater saves just over $6400. Not too shabby at all!

But, just because it's more acceptable, easier, and less expensive for people to meet online doesn't mean more US citizens are using dating sites to meet marriage partners. According to the Pew Research Center, only 51% of Americans were married in 2011 – a significant drop from the 72% who were married in 1960 – and the numbers are continuing to decline.

ConvergEx suggests that the trend could be in reaction to the high divorce rates seen throughout the 1970s and 80s. “Seeing their parents and/or friends’ parents go through a divorce has made today’s young people more cautious when it comes to finding a mate,” they say.

Many more of today's young people are putting their careers had of relationships, making them less reliant on a spouse for support and possibly also contributing to the decline in marriage. Marriage rates are reportedly also dropping faster among people with less education. "Declining marriage rates among those with lower levels of educational attainment is a warning sign that is worth watching," says ConvergEx, "especially if the trend continues."

New Match.com Singles in America Study Released

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The results are in from Match.com and their annual Singles in America survey, and it seems that people are still looking for happily ever after when it comes to relationships.

Match.com surveyed over 5,000 singles to find out what they think about dating, love, sex and relationships today. The biggest find? Technology is changing how we meet each other and also how we date. The majority of singles met their last date online (31%) rather than through a friend (only 25%). Also, 29% of singles use video chat to communicate with a date. It turns out they want to see if there is a little virtual chemistry before they agree to meet in person.

It's no surprise however that women are pickier daters than men. The study found that the majority of men will date a woman who is more successful and makes more money than they do, or is more educated. However, the majority of women won't date a man who is less intellectual or shorter than they are.

What about turn-offs? Most singles judge their dates by how confident they are and by their teeth. It's also a turn-off if a potential date has bad grammar or uses text speak when sending an email. Most daters prefer someone who comes across as more educated.

A bit of advice for men: no sexy selfies! This is the number one turn-off for women. And for the guys? Don't text so often, ladies. If he doesn't respond, avoid sending two or three more texts to get his attention. This is the number one turn-off for guys.

Social media is another sticking point as far as turn-offs go. Avoid airing your dirty laundry and venting over Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms. It is the number one social media turn-off for both sexes!

Another big take-away from the study: be kind and respectful. One hundred percent of women and 98% of men value being treated with respect in a relationship and make it their number one priority. In addition, a whopping 97% of singles are turned off when a date is rude to the waitstaff at a restaurant and 96% are turned off by bad table manners. So mind your manners!

The best news? People are still romantics. Eighty-nine percent of singles surveyed agree that you can live happily ever after with a partner. And despite how much people seem to be hooking up, and the majority of singles are looking for commitment and want to get married.

For more information on the service that brought us this study you can read our review of Match.com.

Does Anybody Care About Valentine’s Day Anymore?

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Confession: I’m one of those irritating people who, every February, talks about how Valentine’s Day is a crock of you-know-what because it shouldn’t take a special, sickeningly sweet, Hallmark-y holiday to remind you to love your partner. Every year it gets hipper to hate on Valentine’s Day, to the point that the scales almost seem poised to tip back in the other direction. In 2015, will the cooler-than-thou kids have to start celebrating V-Day instead of condemning it? What a strange world that would be…

Though the anti-Valentine’s Day forces are loud, it seems that most of us are secretly celebrating anyway. eHarmony asked 3000 people if they had plans for Valentine's Day 2014 and about 64% of them said that they would be spending the holiday with someone special. Here’s what they had planned (or not):

  • 17% of people said they had not planned anything at the time of the survey (which was done only three days before Valentine's Day!).
  • 6% said they had put a lot of planning into the event.
  • Most people, unsurprisingly, fell somewhere in the middle – they’d put at least a little bit of thought into the holiday, but weren’t going all-out.
  • Men were the romantics of the bunch. While women were more likely to say they had done very little to no planning at all, men were more likely to say they had done a fair amount of planning or a lot of planning for their valentine.

Good news for married folks: marriage may get a bad rap for dulling the spark, but the damage – at least where Valentine’s Day is concerned – is seriously overstated. Couples who were dating exclusively were most likely to have plans, at 89%, but at 82% married couples weren't far behind. Couples who were engaged were the least likely to have made any plans, perhaps because they’re too busy planning their weddings.

When the big day finally arrives, here’s what we’re up to:

  • 37% of people head to dinner with their honeys.
  • 26% prefer a romantic dinner in.
  • 18% skip the dinner half entirely and go straight to a movie date.
  • 71% of people plan to give their valentine a gift (79% of men, 65% of women).
  • Women ranked their gift preferences like this: flowers (17%), jewelry (16%), intimacy (17%), a card (12%), and a spa day (11%).
  • Men voted strongly in favor of intimacy as the ideal Valentine's Day gift (40%), but next in line was a card (11%).

And for all the naysayers, eHarmony also found that the biggest reasons people say they celebrate Valentine's Day are romance, connection, and genuine enjoyment of the holiday.